Friday, August 20, 2010

In The News

In case you've not noticed they have been closing places right and left because of bed bugs. Movie theaters, clothing stores, etc. Bed bugs are on the rise in this country and they are taking over. I'm going to allow you a glimpse into what I've been going through for the last 3 count them 3 months. First off let me explain that this past year I've been throwing away/giving to goodwill truckloads per month. So My house is cleaned out and uncluttered. I sweep, do dishes, and clean my house daily. I have one of the cleanest houses of all my friends. I tell you this to explain that a bed bug infestation is not necessarily because the person is dirty. It happens in the cleanest of homes. I've been really embarrassed that this happened to me. I want to tell others so that they know there's nothing that could have been changed for them to not come into their home! There's no reason to be embarrassed. They happen!

Here's what happened and how. My brother and sister in law came in from Africa. They are missionaries and such a sweet, fun family. They had two children and one on the way. Someone they know gave them 2 cribs (no mattresses). In these cribs (remember no mattresses) were bed bugs (this family knew they had them and gave them instead of throwing them away which is what should have happened). They had no idea that they were bringing them into their home. Again a very clean home. We went and took our children to play with their cousins. We had a great night. Guess what hopped on and rode home with us. Yep bedbugs. They hadn't even diagnosed their problem yet. Two weeks later I was washing sheets and wondering what the blood spots were all over our sheets. See they feed on you. You will notice some mosquito like bug bites on you. Usually 2-3 together. They call them breakfast, lunch and dinner. The blood spots are after they've fed and you've rolled over onto them. A few days passed and we finally figured it out. We had them too. We've been through hell and back in the last year.

This did two things. It caused us to throw tons of more stuff away. We threw out our mattress, boxspring, our sheets and comforters, clothes, etc. Anything not tied down but on the bed or floor we threw away! I have never in my life gotten rid of stuff that was usable and instead of donating we threw it away. We threw out our bed frame...our wood headboard and footboard we have had for 17 years. Bed bugs live in clothes, wood, etc and if they've eaten one time (ONE TIME) they can live for 18 months without eating again (hence why we threw everything away). We didn't have money to replace this stuff but you do what you have to do. My sweet neighbor is a bug specialist and he came over and sprayed for us not once but twice. I was very afraid he would have to come and spray a third time but they were finally gone. We went on vacation and came back and found 3 more (2 in my daughters room, where they hadn't been, and a dead one in our room). We threw out her mattress, bed, ripped up her carpet, painted and got her a new mattress and boxspring.

What did I learn? I learned that I will always have mattress protectors on our bed. We went into the sleep number bedstore and was ready to purchase. They said, oh sorry you can't put the zip up mattress protectors (and only the ZIP UP protectors will work)on our bed. We left immediately. No thank you. We spent at least 2000 dollars on this problem and if we had to pay my neighbor it would have been 4000. Because of bed bugs. Well this began at the end of April and here it is August. I have just now stopped washing my clothes in hot (water heater turned up as high as it will go) water. Just now! Almost 4 months later! I pray you never have to go through this. It is spreading rapidly in this country and I see why. They've closed movie theaters, clothing stores, etc. They are a huge nuisance and will change forever the way you look at items you bring into your home. You can't see their eggs so you don't know til you find the infestation that you've brought them home. I will not ever shop yard sales for clothing, furniture, or anything. My beds will be made of iron/metal etc. I will never take for granted sleeping soundly in my bed either.

I know some of you are thinking...she's not as good a housekeeper as she thinks. I tell you I am. This isn't about a clean home. It's about a bug that can take over your life.

What to do if you think you have them:

1. Put everything in trashbags and take outside. I mean put it in trashbags in the room you had the items in. Do not carry anything through the house without in being in a trashbag first. You don't want to let them move to another room.

2. Wash everything you're keeping on hot water and dry in the dryer. I believe everything needed to reach 118*. We washed stuffed animals, clothes, pillows, blankets, everything!

3. Replace the mattress and the boxspring. Then buy the zip up mattress protectors to go over them. The mattress company will haul off your mattress and boxsprings after they zip it up in a huge bag so they don't allow bedbugs into their truck.

4. Our infestation was sorta bad. If it's really bad you will have to throw away pictures that are hanging on the walls. Bed bugs live in anything cloth, wood, etc. They hatch every 2 weeks so make sure when you treat you wait two weeks and treat again. Hence that is why we weren't sure until 6-8 weeks had passed before we felt confident they were gone.

5. IF you have a steam cleaner steam everything. We steamed the floors, couch, other beds in the house. We went crazy cleaning. I don't know that I'll ever feel clean again.

6. Preventative: Wash and dry your sheets and blankets once per week in very hot water!
You find this stuff that looks like mold. That tells you that you have bed bugs. They are usually hiding in the creases of the mattress. Pics courtesy of University of Sydney Entymology dept.

Size of Bedbugs and what they look like.

Good luck and be careful with what you bring into your home! Think I'll go wash my sheets and blankets in hot water right now!

Please excuse the pictures they were mostly taken with a camera phone!


  1. omg that is absolutely horrible! I'm scared to get in bed now..

  2. Yikes...this is the most in depth explanation of bed bugs that I've read! So, I guess a simple call to the exterminator doesn't cut it? The exterminators in our area act like that's all it takes!

  3. They say a simple call to them is all you need. My neighbor I believe was trying to save chemicals and did not treat every room. We found them again last Oct and again in Dec of last year. It's been 10 months now since we've seen them. I so hope we are done. It is truly a nightmare.

  4. OMG, Dina! How absolutely horrifying for you. I'm so sorry that you've had to endure all of that. YIKES!! Thank you so much for all the good advice for how to deal with bed bugs. I would have never known!


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